Just when it appeared Baltimore orioles would not make an appearance at Georgia feeders this winter, within the past two weeks, two bird enthusiasts reported they are hosting orioles at their backyard feeders. Up until then the only Baltimore oriole report I had received this winter came from a woman the feeds birds in her backyard in Tennessee.
The first report originating from the Peach State came from a woman that describes herself as an amateur birdwatcher living in the Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta. She first saw a female Baltimore oriole January 21. The bird was seen inspecting Hot Meats sunflower seeds at one of her seed feeders.
As soon as the bird flew away, she immediately put out half of an orange. Much to her delight a couple of hours later, the bird returned. The oriole has revisited the orange several times a day since it first dined on the citrus.
On January 27, she sent me an update on the status of the bird. Accompanying the message was a fabulous picture of the oriole eating grape jelly. She wrote that the bird had been coming to feed in her backyard frequently since her initial sighting on the 21st. She went on to say the bird was eating grape jelly from an oriole feeder she bought a year ago. Although neither a hummingbird nor oriole ever used the feeder before, her new winter guest visits it regularly. She fills the feeder with grape jelly water instead of nectar.
The second report that I received was sent January 26. This message came from a wild bird enthusiast that resides in Warner Robins. She reported spotting two Baltimore orioles. The homeowner wrote, “Yesterday I saw a bright orange and black bird at my suet feeder.” The next morning she observed what appeared to be the same bird dining on suet. However, in the brief time it took her to grab her camera and return to the window, the bird disappeared. Much to her delight, in a few minutes, a second Baltimore oriole appeared. The plumage of this bird was much duller.
Wow! I wish a Baltimore oriole would show up at my home this winter. Although I have a small container of grape jelly waiting for them in the corner of one of my platform feeders, nothing resembling an oriole has visited it. However, the fact three orioles have recently shown up at two locales this late in the winter, gives those of us that have not seen an oriole in our backyards hope one may still make an appearance before spring arrives.